Take Heed Lest You Fall

OURS IS A DAY OF SUPERFICIALITY. If you can fake it, you're often admired as being clever, not criticized for being phony. Mediocrity can mark the ministry just as overtly as it marks many of those who work for the government and are employed in industry. I've also noticed that staying longer in the same place can only perpetuate the problem. People tend to let seniority excuse the erosion of excellence.

The ministry, unfortunately, is no exception. People trust you to be diligent, to stay spiritually sensitive, to do your homework, to think creatively, to remain fresh, innovative, excited about your calling, and pure in motive. That's why I urge all who are in this sacred work to pay attention to the reality of danger:

All of you, dress yourselves in humility, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

1 PETER 5:5–8

The painful truth is that we as ministers can be easily indifferent to the strategies of the devil. His traps are subtle. Pride. Envy. Ambition. Lust. The need for affirmation. Ours is a dangerous calling! The ease with which we can veil our true selves and manage our outward appearances leaves us even more vulnerable to Satan's diabolical attacks.

If you're among the ranks of those called to serve the body of Christ, stay alert to the dangers. Humble yourself under His mighty power. If you love someone who serves Christ in this work, be fervent in prayer for that person's spiritual protection.

Devotional content taken from Good Morning, Lord . . . Can We Talk? by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 2018. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a division of Tyndale House Ministries. All rights reserved. The full devotional can be purchased at tyndale.com.


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